“Nestled deep in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the end of the road in Syria, Virginia”, is a wonderful place that Alyssa and I found eleven years ago. After moving to Virginia, we went on day adventures in order to have priceless carefree timelessness and this was one of the first places we visited.
The drive through the countryside is absolutely beautiful especially since the leaves are ablaze with the colors of Autumn. When I’m in such beautiful surroundings, I love to listen to the peaceful sounds and take lots of photographs. We also leave everything behind us which helps the conversation to flow freely.
During our first visit to Grave’s Mountain Apple Festival in 2000, we fell in love with everything especially the apple sauce and apple butter. That was the beginning of our obsession. Each year we enjoy Brunswick stew, cornbread, apple sauce and apple butter in front of the big fireplace.
We eat lunch in the covered picnic pavilion and sit so that we can see the rushing river just a few feet away.
We also watch the other people who are milling around or eating outside. Dogs wearing bandanas and children wearing orange tutus find the experience enjoyable too.
In the distance, we also could see the pumpkin patch and more colorful foliage.
The Country Poor Bluegrass band twanged as we enjoyed the delicious food and cool weather. Yes, that is the name of the band and they are very, very bluegrass. But the important thing about the group is that they know how to pick out the right color shirt for their performances.
Oh, please! You know that red is your favorite color and you love bluegrass.
Is it possible to brainwash people by using blog posts?
Anyway, we enjoyed the fresh apple sauce…
And the magnificent apple butter which is rich and thick and so very smooth..
When you can’t decide which you like the best, there is only one thing to do – You eat the apple sauce and apple butter at the same time!
I’m sure you’re wondering how they make that delectable apple butter.
Let’s see if I can explain it to you…
You git a big ole black pot and startcha a wood fire goin’ under the pot. You gotta surround the pot with cinder blocks to hold stuff and to keep the wind from blowin’ the fire too much. It also keeps the not so smart people from walkin’ in the fire.
You gotta keep stirrin’ the secret apple butter recipe with a big ole’ paddle while someone else keeps the wood blazin’ hot with a metal contraption that looks kinda like a golf club. The secret is to have a bunch of men who don’t have anything better to do, gather around the big ole’ black pot and stir the apple butter for hours while they talk about cows, hay, trucks and pretty women.
The men really don’t mind doin’ it because it makes the women folk quite happy. They learned a very valuable lesson a long time ago. If Mama ain’t happy, then do somethin’ to git her happy or life is just gonna be miserable.
As long as the men keep the pot stirred, the women folk don’t really care what they talk about around the fire.
Actually, the men and women folk don’t bother each other until the apple butter is canned, the people are gone and the sun sets behind the mountains. That’s when they do what all tired country folk do…they hit the hay.